The Eurovision Song Contest started in Switzerland in 1956 and has been broadcast annually ever since. Are you a Eurovision nut? Take our quiz to prove the true depth of your knowledge.
Eurovision is an easy target for criticism. Haters are quick to pooh-pooh the annual song contest, calling it tacky, contrived and a cardinal case of style over substance. Even loyal followers are inclined to level the odd criticism, whether it’s a complaint about their country’s miserable song selection or confusion about the presenters speaking over the music.
Then there are the overarching reprovals, with viewers observing allied favouritism in the voting, calling Eurovision politically benign, and wondering what the heck Australia is doing there. We could go on, but what’s the point when Eurovision is not only the longest-running made-for-TV song contest, but also one of the world’s longest-running television programs.
Initially dubbed the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Prix, the premiere instalment took place in the Swiss town of Lugano. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands all competed alongside the host nation. As of 2020, a total of 52 countries have taken part at least once.
Each year Eurovision serves up a heck of a lot of fabulous fun, in spite of what the pagans say. Celine Dion won for Switzerland in 1998 and ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’ came up trumps in 1974. Four countries tied for first in 1969, while Belgium’s Sandra Kim remains the contest’s youngest ever winner.
The songs haven’t always been enduring classics, but there have been some wonderful head scratchers. The 1968 song ‘La, La, La’ included the word (or sound) “la” a whopping 138 times. One 1997 entry featured the line “Sex with you passes by as fast as the spaceship enterprise.” And in 2014 we heard a singer vow to “look over all the maps trying to escape / ‘Cause I’m tired of your sweet cheesecake.”
Does all of this sound familiar? You’re going to excel in our Eurovision quiz!